Today’s post is written by our brave writer, Jazmyne Tamar Johnson.
It was a Sunday afternoon. Lesley had begun to pray and I resisted the strong urge to release my tears from their thresholds. I refused to let a single tear shed from my eyes, as I did not desire to make a scene of things. There was an itinerary in place and that must be followed; I couldn’t allow for myself to be the wild hair of the evening. “Be still, Precious One.” I felt peace and I felt His hand upon my shoulders. I then, felt Him holding my hand-a gesture of comfort and support. “I want to show you something. I want to share what I’ve gotten for you.” Immediately, a vision:
I’m sitting on a rocky cliff. The sun is setting and the water is rising higher and higher. I do not move. I remain seated and at peace. The waves continue to rise, however, the walls of water never block the light of the sun. Then, as though I had become a rock myself, the waves crashed against me. I painlessly anticipated the meeting of my skin with the rushing waters. I did not fear drowning and I did not fear being pressed, inevitably, against the rocks by the waves. My body was unmoved by the contact. I wasn’t soaked with water, but I glowed with joy, renewal, peace, and promise.
“I am here and you are safe.” “Amen.” The prayer had been adjourned and for the first time that afternoon, I felt excited for what would come. We had been encouraged to create a dream house and fill it with our dreams as an exercise. To anyone, this task would appear “simple” or “easy.” To me, I struggled severely with what my dreams were. “Lord, show me my dreams. Show me my dreams,” I chanted over and over as I drew an inexplicable blank. In my fear of being recognized as “unproductive,” I just began to list the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.. Upon completion, we were to attach three of these dreams to a balloon and release them into the heavens; this would serve as a metaphor of our releasing our dreams to God and trusting that He’d renew His dreams within us. I chose: “Love,” “Creativity,” and “Writing.” As I released them into the sky, I felt as though I had chosen the wrong three. “Crap! He’s going to give me something extremely humiliating to teach me humility because I’ve been misbehaving lately!” Lesley then released us to scavenge the beach for objects that we felt inclined to retrieve by God. I thought that this would prove an even more difficult task for me than composing dreams that I had for myself. As I walked onto the sand, I couldn’t help but notice a beautiful Plumeria; its petals were a bit browned and withered, but its beauty had been unaffected. “You fear and fall, daily, but you are still intact; you are still beautiful.” I cupped it in my hands as I prized it as precious. As I continued on, I noticed a piece of a shell. Though it weren’t whole, it still was identifiable. “Your brokenness does not exempt you from my promises.” I cupped this into my hands as well. As the walk continued, I continued to recognize more Plumerias and more broken shells. I continued to pick these up as well. Ironically, it was not until AFTER the encounter and several weeks passing that I realized what these detached flowers and broken shells were to represent in my life, in that moment.
Despite all of my faults and failures, I am intact.
Despite all of my fears and doubts, I am justified.
Despite my brokenness and flaws, I am loved.
Despite my failures and my weaknesses, I am beautiful.
As I am, where I am, how I am-IS LOVED.